From time to time the OIG, usually represented by the Inspector General (IG), is asked to testify before a Congressional committee or subcommittee. Our agency may be asked to testify about various aspects of Postal Service operations, our investigations into such areas as drug trafficking, or an overview of issues raised in a recent audit or white paper.
Last week, our IG, Tammy L. Whitcomb testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. That’s the subcommittee that provides annual appropriations for the OIG, the Postal Regulatory Commission, and some limited funds to cover certain costs for the Postal Service. During the hearing, titled A Hearing to Review the FY 2022 Budget Request for the USPS Office of Inspector General and USPS Service Issues, IG Whitcomb offered an overview of our budget request and the work it covers, as well as discussed problems with the Postal Service’s processing and delivery networks.
In her testimony, IG Whitcomb noted that despite having one of the leanest OIG operations, we provide a large return on investment, $30 for every $1 in our budget. With the Postal Service’s plans to institute several large, new undertakings — changes to its processing network, reductions in service standards, and significant price increases — there is an increased need for new levels of continuous oversight. With funding, the OIG would increase the number of people monitoring service in the field, providing near real-time feedback, allowing the Postal Service an opportunity to fix situations as they arise.
Proper funding will also allow the OIG to expand data analytics efforts, allowing us to identify areas of concern in almost real time for audits and investigations. We can also create new dashboards — like our recently published service performance page — to provide greater transparency for postal stakeholders on postal operations and performance.
In last week’s testimony, as well as in other hearings, we look to inform Congress and the general public on the work we do.